John Kuester Rumors

This comes after a report on Friday stated that former Sixers assistant John Kuester is the leading candidate to become Brown’s top assistant (see story). Kuester previously served as an assistant with the Sixers under Larry Brown. Lange, 41, is born and bred in this area. The New Jersey native played high school basketball at Bishop Eustace in Pennsauken Township, NJ and then went on to play at Rowan University.
Two NBA sources have confirmed that Steve Hetzel, former Cavaliers video coordinator, will be hired to coach the Cavs’ owned-and-operated NBA Development League team, the Canton Charge. The hire was first reported by the News-Herald. Hetzel, a 2005 graduate of Michigan State where he served as a student manager for the men’s basketball team, was named the Cavs’ video coordinator in July, 2006. He stayed until 2009, when he left to join former Cavs assistant John Kuester’s staff with the Detroit Pistons. After Kuester was fired, Hetzel remained with Lawrence Frank for two seasons.
“I have to talk to Mike and Mitch (Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager),” said Messina, who has an option on his contract for next season. “I would (like to be an NBA head coach), but it is something that’s out of my control. “The good thing is I have the security to go back to Europe to coach. That’s my security blanket.” Brown said he wouldn’t be surprised if Messina, John Kuester, Chuck Person and Quin Snyder receive offers elsewhere. Kuester coached the Detroit Pistons for two ill-fated seasons before being fired and joining Brown’s staff.
Players were invited to speak after Lakers assistant coaches John Kuester and Chuck Person left strong impressions. Part of the assistant coaches’ message was urging the players to curtail any “external chatter,” according to a source. When no player volunteered to speak up, Brown said he requested that “my three leaders” share their thoughts; first Pau Gasol, then Derek Fisher and finally Kobe Bryant.
John Kuester fired as Detroit Pistons coach last June, rebuffed efforts to interview him today in his return to The Palace of Auburn Hills. Kuester, now an assistant coach on Mike Brown’s staff with the Los Angeles Lakers, blew past reporters in the first effort to interview him after the Lakers’ pre-game shootaround today. He later returned to the playing floor, and as he departed, shook a few hands, said his daughter was doing well when asked, but did not respond when asked for interviews.
“Everybody wishes they would have done something different,” Prince said. “Not just going on when Kuester was the coach, but what was going on when everybody was our coach. “You always did something and said, ‘Man, I wish I would have did something differently.’ Even with the one good year I had with Carlisle, the two good years I had with Larry, the three good years I had with Flip. Those years I had times where I wish I could have done something different.”
Tayshaun Prince admitted Monday he wishes he would have handled some things differently under former Pistons coach John Kuester. He also wishes he could take back some situations under former coaches Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders. He was making the point that while he has some regrets when it comes to the previous two seasons under Kuester, who returns to the Palace tonight as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, the competitive nature of players makes it hard to be level-headed when they are in the moment.
Brown has also responded to the needs of this situation by deferring less to his assistants during timeouts. Early in the season, he said, he was focusing on the defense during timeouts while assistant John Kuester drew up plays to show the team after Brown was finished discussing defensive issues. “Early in the year I was trying to lock-in defensively because I knew that needed to be right,” he said. But in recent weeks he has realized that the team needs to focus on him and his voice. This is why he has usually been the sole voice during timeout huddles. The team has been struggling and he has been showing leadership.
Mike Brown hired John Kuester as an assistant coach, the Lakers announced Wednesday afternoon, the first of what figures to be several additions to their coaching staff. Brown and Kuester worked together while with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chuck Person, who served as an assistant to Phil Jackson the last two seasons, is believed to be on Brown’s list of candidates as the new Lakers coach fills out his coaching staff. Jim Boylen, a former University of Utah coach, is another.
Philadelphia’s Quin Snyder, who was in charge of player development with the 76ers last season, met with Brown last Thursday, much of the conversation about the offense, the official said. Chuck Person, the only holdover from Phil Jackson’s staff, has interviewed several times with Brown about a position on the staff, the official said. It already has been reported that former Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester and former Moscow CSKA coach Ettore Messina are also expected to join Brown’s staff, but nothing has become official.
The Pistons’ job opened Sunday when new owner Tom Gores officially gave the go-ahead to cashiering John Kuester, as everyone knew would happen once the team all but quit on him during the season. Kuester, a source said Sunday, was “99 percent certain” to wind up on new Laker coach Mike Brown’s staff as offensive coordinator, the role he served under Brown in Cleveland before taking the Pistons job. Hornets assistant Mike Malone, who interviewed Sunday for the Warriors’ head coaching job, is likely to also join Brown’s staff as the defensive boss — the same role he had with Brown in Cleveland.
The following statement was released this afternoon by President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. “As our organization moves forward and prepares for the future, the search for our club’s new head coach is a priority and will begin immediately. However, at this time, we do not have a timetable for hiring a successor. We’ll conduct our due diligence privately and announce a decision when we’ve identified that individual.”